CURRO TO LAUNCH ‘LAND BANK’
Results season has kicked off and Curro came out with HEPS up 68% at 14.8c for the first six months of the year. What interested me was the comment that it is putting aside R300m for a ‘land bank’. I didn’t know what that meant, but Twitter helped me understand – basically it will be buying up prime land for schools but not developing it just yet. What it’s doing is blocking others from buying and developing the land. This makes sense in that location is critical for schools and good land for schools is tough to find aside from in townships. With new developments it is also important that companies protect themselves. But what company is Curro protecting itself against? AdvTech is the obvious answer but actually competition for welllocated land goes well beyond just schools. Secure residential, office blocks and retail centres also want well-located land. What did strike me about the results was the lack of commentary. Unsurprisingly, nothing was said about the failed AdvTech deal and most interviews with CEO Chris van der Merwe focused
on this issue.